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Unlicensed landlord ordered to pay over £2,600

A private landlord has been fined £2,000 for renting out two properties in Peterborough without a licence which he was legally obliged to obtain under the city council’s selective licensing scheme.

Kevin Wagstaff, who lives in Eye, was found guilty in his absence at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court last week for letting two properties on Atkinson Street and Saltmarsh without a licence, despite it being a requirement under the Housing Act 2004.

Wagstaff must now obtain a licence for both properties. Each licence will now cost £900, instead of £50 or £600 had he applied when the scheme started. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of £1,000 on each charge, in addition to £563 costs and a £100 victim surcharge.

This is the council’s fifth successful prosecution to date for the same offence.

Councillor Irene Walsh, cabinet member for communities, said: “This case once again demonstrates that it is not acceptable for a landlord to operate in the designated area without a selective licence.

“We would urge all landlords to ensure they are fully aware of all their responsibilities under the law, including our selective licensing scheme.”

Since December last year, landlords have been required to obtain a licence in order to let properties to tenants within a designated area. The selective licensing scheme covers the wards of Central, North, East, Park, Fletton, Bretton North, Stanground Central, Walton and Orton Longueville.

 “The selective licensing scheme has been running for some time now and we have been clear that landlords who have properties in the areas covered by the scheme must have a licence,” said Helen Blake, prevention and enforcement officer, who investigated the offence.

“Landlords, managing agents or tenants within the designated area should obtain advice to ascertain whether their property is affected by the scheme by contacting the selective licensing team at Peterborough City Council,” she added. 

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